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Full text of "The gods of Pegana, with illus. in photogravure by S.H. Sime"

J 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 




PEGANA 



THE 
GODS OF PEGANA 



BY 

LORD DUNSANY 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS IN PHOTOGRAVURE BY 
S. H. SIME. 



THE PEGANA PRESS, 

86, NEWMAN STREET, W. 

ign 



6336G3 



DEDICATED 

TO 

LADY DUNSANY. 



PR 

600T 



PREFACE. 

THERE be islands in the Central 
Sea, whose waters are bounded 
by no shore and where no ships 
come this is the faith of their 
people. 



IN the mists before the Beginning, Fate and 
Chance cast lots to decide whose the Game 
should be ; and h_e that won strode through 
the mists to MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI and 
said : " Now make gods for Me, for I have 
won the cast and the Game is to be Mine." 
Who it was that won the cast, and whether 
it was Fate or whether Chance that went 
through the mists before the Beginning to 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI none knoweth. 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

BEFORE there stood gods upon Olympus, or 
ever Allah was Allah, had wrought and 
rested MANA-YOOD-SUSHAL 

There are in Pegana Mung and Sish and 
Kib, and the maker of all small gods, who is 
MANA - YOOD - SUSHAl. Moreover, we 
have a faith in Roon and Slid. 

And it has been said of old that all 
things that have been were wrought by the 
small gods, excepting only MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI, who made the gods, and hath 
thereafter rested. 

Andjione may pray to MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI but only to the gods whom he hath 
made. 

But at the Last will MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI forget to rest, and will make 
again new gods and other worlds, and will 
destroy the gods whom he hath made. 

And the gods and the worlds shall depart,, 
and there shall be only MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI. 



OF SKARL THE DRUMMER 

WHEN MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI had made 
the gods and Skarl, Skarl made a drum, and 
began to beat upon it that he might drum 
for ever. Then because he was weary after 
the making of the gods, and because of the 
drumming of Skarl, did MANA-YDOD- 
SUSHAI grow drowsy and fall asleep. 

And there fell a hush upon the gods when 
they saw that MANA rested, and there was 
silence on Pegana save for the drumming of 
Skarl. Skarl sitteth upon the mist^ before 
the feet of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, above 
the gods of Pegana, and there he beateth 
his drum. Some say that the Worlds and 
the Suns are but the echoes of the drumming 
of Skarl, and others say that they be dreams 
that arise in the mind of MANA because of 
the drumming of Skarl, as one may dream 
whose rest is troubled by sound of song, but 
none knoweth, for who hath heard the voice 
of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAJ, or who hath 
seen his drummer ? 

Whether the season be winter or whether 




THE DREAMS OF MANA- YOOD - SU SHA I 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

it be summer, whether it be morning 
among the worlds or whether it be night, 
Skarl still beateth his drum, for the purposes 
of the gods are not yet fulfilled. Sometimes 
the arm of Skarl grows weary ; but still he 
beateth his drum, that the gods may do the 
work of the gods, and the worlds go on, for 
if he cease for an instant then MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI will start awake, and there 
will be worlds nor gods no more. 

But, when at the last the arm of Skarl 
shall cease to beat his drum, silence shall 
startle Pegana like thunder in a cave, and 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI shall cease to 
rest. 

Then shall Skarl put his drum upon his 
back and walk forth into the void beyond 
the worlds, because it is THE END, and 
the work of Skarl is over. 

There there may arise some other god 
whom Skarl may serve, or it may be that he 
shall perish ; but to Skarl it shall matter not, 
for he shall have done the work of Skarl. 



OF THE MAKING OF THE 
WORLDS 

WHEN MANA-YOOD-SUSHAl had made 
the gods there were only the gods, and they 
sat in the middle of Time, for there was as 
much Time before them as behind them, 
which having no end had neither a 
beginning. 

And Pegana -was without heat or light or 
sound, save for the drumming of Skarl ; more- 
over Pegana was The Middle of All, for 
there was below Pegana what there was 
above it, and there lay before it that which 
lay beyond. 

Then said the gods, making the signs of 
the gods and speaking with Their hands lest 
the silence of Pegana should blush ; then 
said the gods to one another, speaking with 
Their hands : " Let Us make worlds to amuse 
Ourselves while MANA rests. Let Us make 
worlds and Life and Death, and colours in 
the sky ; only let Us not break the silence 
upon Pegana." 

Then raising Their hands, each god 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

according to his sign, They made the worlds 
and the suns, and put a light in the houses 
of the sky. 

Then said the gods : " Let Us make one to 
seek, to seek and never to find out concerning 
the wherefore of the making of the gods." 

And They made by the lifting of Their 
hands, each god according to his sign, the 
Bright One with the flaring tail to seek from 
the end of the Worlds to the end of them 
again, to return again after a hundred years. 

Man, when thou seest the comet, know 
that another seeketh besides thee nor ever 
findeth out. 

Then said the gods, still speaking with 
their hands : " Let there be now a Watcher to 
regard." 

And They made the Moon, with his face 
wrinkled with many mountains and worn 
with a thousand valleys, to regard with pale 
eyes the games of the small gods, and to 
watch throughout the resting time of MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI; to watch, to regard all 
things, and be silent. 

Then said the gods : " Let us make one to 
rest. One not to move among the moving. 
One, not to seek like the comet, nor to go 
round like the worlds ; to rest while MANA 
rests." 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

And They made the Star of the Abiding 
and set it in the North. 

Man, when thou seest the Star of the 
Abiding to the North, know that_one resteth 
as doth MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, and know 
that somewhere among the Worlds is rest. 

Lastly the gods said: "We have made 
worlds and suns, and one to seek and another 
to regard, let us now make one to wonder." 

And they made Earth to wonder, each 
god by the uplifting of his hand according 
to his sign. 

And Earth Was. 



OF THE GAME OF THE GODS 

A MILLION years passed over the first game 
of the gods. And MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI 
still rested, still in the middle of Time, and 
the gods still played with Worlds. The 
Moon regarded, and the Bright One sought, 
and returned again to his seeking. 

Then Kib grew weary of the first game of 
the gods, and raised his hand in Pegana, 
making the sign of Kib, and Earth became 
covered with beasts for Kib to play with. 

And Kib played with beasts. 

But the other gods said one to another, 
speaking with their hands : " What is it that 
Kib has done ?" 

And They said to Kib : " What are these 
things that move upon The Earth yet move 
not in circles like the Worlds, that regard 
like the Moon and yet they do not shine ?" 

And Kib said : " This is Life." 

But the gods said one to another : " If Kib 
has thus made beasts he will in time make 
Men, and will endanger the secret of the 
gods." 

And Mung was jealous of the work of 
Kib, and sent down Death among the beasts, 
but could not stamp them out. 

7 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

A million years passed over the second 
game of the gods, and still it was the 
Middle of Time. 

And Kib grew weary of the second game, 
and raised his hand in The Middle of All, 
making the sign of Kib, and made Men : 
out of beasts he made them, and Earth was 
covered with Men. 

Then the gods feared greatly for the 
Secret of the gods, and set a veil between 
Man and his ignorance that he might not 
understand. And Mung was busy among 
Men. 

But when the other gods saw Kib playing 
his new game They came and played it too. 
And This they will play until MANA arise to 
rebuke them, saying : " What do ye playing 
with Worlds and Suns and Men and Life 
and Death ?" And They shall be ashamed of 
Their playing in the hour of the laughter of 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAL 

It was Kib who first broke the Silence of 
Pegana, by speaking with his mouth like a 
man. 

And all the other gods were angry with 
Kib that he had spoken with his mouth. 

And there was no longer silence in Pegana 
or the Worlds. 



8 



THE CHAUNT OF THE GODS 

THERE came the voice of the gods singing 
the chaunt of the gods, singing : " We are the 
gods; We arejthe little games of MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI that he hath played and 
hath forgotten. 

" MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI hath made us, 
and We made the Worlds and the Suns. 

"And We play with the Worlds and the 
Sun and Life and Death until MANA arise 
to rebuke us, saying : ' What do ye playing 
with Worlds and Suns? ' 

" It is a very serious thing that there be 
Worlds and Suns, and yet most withering is 
the laughter of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI. 

"And when he arises from resting at the 
Last, and laughs at us for playing with 
Worlds and Suns, We will hastily put them 
behind us, and there shall be Worlds no 
more." 



THE SAYINGS OF KIB 

(SENDER OF LIFE IN ALL THE WORLDS) 

KIB said : " I am Kib. I am none other than 
Kib." 

Kib is Kib. Kib is he and no other. 
Believe ! 

Kib said : " When Time was early, when: 
Time was very early indeed^ there_ was 
only MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI. MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI was before the beginning 
of the gods, and shall be after their going." 

And Kib said : " After the going of the 
gods there will be no small worlds nor 
big." 

Kib said: "It^will be lonely for MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI." 

Because this is written, believe! For is it 
not written, or are you greater than Kib? 
Kib is Kib. 



10 



CONCERNING SISH 

(THE DESTROYER OF HOURS) 

TIME is the hound of Sish. 

At Sish's bidding do the hours run before 
him as he goeth upon his way. 

Never hath Sish stepped backward nor 
ever hath he tarried ; never hath he relented 
to the things that once he knew nor turned 
to them again. 

Before Sish is Kib, and behind him goeth 
Mung. 

Very pleasant are all things before the 
face of Sish, but behind him they are 
withered and old. 

And Sish goeth ceaselessly upon his 
way. 

Once the gods walked upon the Earth as 
men walk and spake with their mouths like 
Men. That was in Wornath-Mavai. They 
walk not now. 

And Wornath-Mavai was a garden fairer 
than all the gardens upon Earth. 

Kib was propitious, and Mung raised not 
1 1 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

his hand against it, neither did Sish assail 
it with his hours. 

Wornath-Mavai lieth in a valley and 
looketh towards the south, and on the slopes 
of it Sish rested among the flowers when 
Sish was young. 

Thence Sish went forth into the world to 
destroy its cities, and to provoke his hours 
to assail all things, and to batter against 
them with the rust and with the dust. 

And Time, which is the hound of Sish, 
devoured all things ; and Sish sent up the 
ivy and fostered 1 weeds, and dust fell from 
the hand of Sish and covered stately things. 
Only the valley where Sish rested when he 
and Time were young did Sish not provoke 
his hours to assail. 

There he restrained his old hound Time, 
and at its borders Mung withheld his foot- 
steps. 

Wornath-Mavai still lieth looking towards 
the south, a garden among gardens ; and 
still the flowers grow about its slopes as 
they grew when the gods were young; and 
even the butterflies live in Wornath-Mavai 
still. For the minds of the gods relent 
towards their earliest memories, who relent 
not otherwise at all. 

Wornath-Mavai still lieth looking towards 

12 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

the south ; but if thou shouldst ever find it 
thou art then more fortunate that the gods, 
because they walk not in Wornath-Mavai 
now. 

Once did the prophet think that he dis- 
cerned it in the distance beyond mountains, 
a garden exceeding fair with flowers ; but 
Sish arose, and pointed with his hand, and set 
his hound to pursue him, who hath followed 
ever since. 

Time is the hound of the gods ; but it hath 
been said of old that he will one day turn 
upon his masters, and seek to slay the gods, 
excepting only MANA-YOOD-SUSHAi; 
whose dreams are the gods themselves 
dreamed long ago. 



THE SAYINGS OF SLID 

(WHOSE SOUL IS BY THE SEA.) 

SLID said : " Let no man pray to MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAl, for who shall trouble 
MANA with mortal woes or irk him with 
the sorrows of all the houses ofJEarth ? 

" Norjet any sacrifice to MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI, for what glory shall he find in 
sacrifice or altars who hath made the gods 
themselves ? 

" Pray to the small gods, who are the gods 
of Doing ; but MANA is the god of Having 
Done the god of Having Done and of the 
Resting. 

" Pray to the small gods and hope that 
they may hear thee. Yet what mercy 
should the small gods have, who themselves 
made Death and Pain ; or shall they restrain 
their old hound Time for thee ? 

"Slid is but a small god. Yet Slid is 
Slid it is written and hath been said. 

" Pray thou, therefore, to Slid, and forget 
not Slid, and it may be that Slid will not 




SLID 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

forget to send thee Death when most thou 
needest it." 

And the People of the Earth said : " There 
is a melody upon the Earth as though ten 
thousand streams ajl sang together for their 
homes that they had forsaken in the hills." 

And Slid said: " I am the Lord of gliding 
waters and of foaming waters and of still. 
I am the Lord of all the waters in the 
world and all that long streams garner in 
the hills; but the soul of Slid is in the 
Sea. Thither goes all that glides upon the 
Earth, and the end of all the rivers is the 
Sea." 

And Slid said : " The hand of Slid hath 
toyed with cataracts, adown the valleys have 
trod the feet of Slid, and out of the lakes 
of the plains regard the eyes of Slid ; but 
the soul of Slid is in the Sea." 

Much homage hath Slid among the cities 
of men and pleasant are the woodland paths 
and the paths of the plains, and pleasant 
the high valleys where he danceth in the 
hills ; but Slid would be fettered neither by 
banks nor boundaries so the soul of Slid 
is in the Sea. 

For there may Slid repose beneath the 
sun and smile at the gods above him with 
all. the smiles of Slid, and be a happier god 

15 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

than Those who sway the Worlds, whose 
work is Life and Death. 

There may he sit and smile, or creep 
among the ships, or moan and sigh round 
islands in his great content the miser lord 
of wealth in gems and pearls beyond the 
telling of all fables. 

Or there may he, when Slid would fain 
exult, throw up his great arms, or toss with 
many a fathom of wandering hair the mighty 
head of Slid, and cry aloud tumultuous 
dirges of shipwreck, and feel through all 
his being the crashing might of Slid, and 
sway the sea. Then doth the Sea, like 
venturous legions on the eve of war that 
exult to acclaim their chief, gather its force 
together from under all the winds and roar 
and follow and sing and crash together to 
vanquish all things and all at the bidding 
of Slid, whose soul is in the sea. 

There is ease in the soul of Slid and 
there be calms upon the sea ; also, there be 
storms upon the sea and troubles in the 
soul of Slid, for the gods have many moods. 
And Slid is in many places, for he sitteth 
in high Pegana. Also along the valleys 
walketh Slid, wherever water moveth or 
lieth still ; but the voice and the cry of Slid 
are from the sea. And to whoever that 
16 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

cry hath ever come he must needs follow 
and follow, leaving all stable things ; only to 
foe always with Slid in all the moods of 
Slid, to find no rest until he reach the sea. 
With the cry of Slid before them and the 
hills of their home behind have gone a 
hundred thousand to the sea, over whose 
bones doth Slid lament with the voice of a 
god lamenting for his people. Even the 
streams from the inner lands have heard 
Slid's far-off cry, and all together have 
forsaken lawns and trees to follow where 
Slid is gathering up his own, to rejoice 
where Slid rejoices, singing the chaunt of 
Slid, even as will at the Last gather all the 
Lives of the People about the feet of MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI. 



THE DEEDS OF MUNG 

(LORD OF ALL DEATHS BETWEEN PEGANA 
AND THE RIM) 

ONCE, as Mung went his way athwart the 
Earth and up and down ifs cities and across 
its plains, Mung came upon a man who was 
afraid when Mung said : " I am Mung!" 

And Mung said : " Were the forty million 
years before thy coming intolerable to thee?" 

And Mung said : " Not less tolerable to 
thee shall be the forty million years to 
come !" 

Then Mung made against him the sign 
of Mung and the Life of the Man was 
fettered no longer with hands and feet. 

At the end of the flight of the arrow 
there is Mung, and in the houses and the 
cities of Men. Mung walketh in all places 
at all times. But mostly he loves to walk 
in the dark and still, along the river mists 
when the wind hath sank, a little before 
night meeteth with the morning upon the 
highway between Pegana and the Worlds. 
18 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Sometimes Mung entereth the poor man's 
cottage ; Mung also boweth very low before 
The King. Then do the Lives of the poor 
man and of The King go forth among the 
Worlds. 

And Mung said : " Many turnings hath 
the road that Kib hath given every man 
to tread upon the earth. Behind one of 
these turnings sitteth Mung." 

One day as a man trod upon the road that 
Kib had given him to tread he came suddenly 
upon Mung. And when Mung said : " I am 
Mung ! " the man cried out : " Alas, that I 
took this road, for had I gone by any other 
way then had I not met with Mung." 

And Mung said : " Had it been possible 
for thee to go by any other way then had the 
Scheme of Things been otherwise and the 
gods had been other gods. When MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI forgets to rest and makes 
again new gods it may be that They will 
send thee again into the Worlds ; and then 
thou mayest choose some other way, and so 
not meet with Mung." 

Then Mung made the sign of Mung. 
And the Life of that man went forth with 
yesterday's regrets and all old sorrows and 
forgotten things whither Mung knoweth. 

And Mung went onward with his work 

19 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

to sunder Life from flesh, and Mung came 
upon a man who became stricken with 
sorrow when he saw the shadow of Mung. 
But Mung said: "When at the sign of 
Mung thy Life shall float away there will 
also disappear thy sorrow at forsaking it." 
But the man cried out : " O Mung ! tarry 
for a little, and make not the sign of Mung 
against me now, for I have a family upon 
the Earth with whom sorrow will remain, 
though mine should disappear because of 
the sign of Mung." 

And Mung said : " With the gods it is 
always Now. And before Sish hath banished 
many of the years the sorrows of thy family 
for thee shall go the way of thine." And 
the man beheld Mung making the sign of 
Mung before his eyes, which beheld things 
no more. 



20 



THE CHAUNT OF THE 
PRIESTS 

THIS is the chaunt of the Priests. 

The chaunt of the Priests of Mung. 

This is the chaunt of the Priests. 

All day long to Mung cry out the Priests 
of Mung, and yet Mung hearkeneth not. 
What, then, shall avail the prayers of All the 
People ? 

Rather bring gifts to the Priests, gifts to 
the Priests of Mung. 

So shall! they cry louder unto Mung than 
ever was their wont. 

And it may be that Mung shall hear. 

Not any longer then shall fall the Shadow 
of Mung athwart the hopes of the People. 

Not any longer then shall the Tread of 
Mung darken the dreams of the People. 

Not any longer shall the lives of the people 
be loosened because of Mung. 

Bring ye gifts to the Priests, gifts to the 
Priests of Mung. 

This is the chaunt of the Priests. 

The chaunt of the Priests of Mung. 

This is the chaunt of the Priests. 

21 



THE SAYINGS OF LIMPANG- 
TUNG 

(THE GOD OF MIRTH AND OF MELODIOUS 
MINSTRELS) 

AND Limpang - Tung said : " The ways of 
the gods are strange. The flower groweth 
up and the flower fadeth away. This 
may be very clever of the gods. Man 
groweth from his infancy, and in a while 
he dieth. This may be very clever too. 

" But the gods play with a strange scheme. 

" I will send jests into the world and a 
little mirth. And while Death seems to thee 
as far away as the purple rim of hills, or 
sorrow as far off as rain in the blue days 
of summer, then pray to Limpang - Tung. 
But when thou growest old, or ere thou diest 
pray not to Limpang - Tung, for thou be- 
comest part of a scheme that he doth not 
understand. 

" Go out into the starry night, and Lim- 
pang-Tung will dance with thee who danced 
since the gods were young, the god of mirth 
22 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

and of melodious minstrels. Or offer up a 
jest to Limpang-Tung ; only pray not in thy 
sorrow to Limpang - Tung, for he saith of 
sorrow : ' It may be very clever of the gods, 
but he doth not understand/ " 

And Limpang-Tung said : " I am lesser 
than the gods ; pray, therefore, to the small 
gods and not to Limpang-Tung. 

" Natheless between Pegana and the Earth 
flutter ten thousand thousand prayers that 
beat their wings against the face of Death, 
and never for one of them hath the hand 
of the Striker been stayed, nor yet have 
tarried the feet of the Relentless One. 

" Utter thy prayer ! It may accomplish 
where failed ten thousand thousand. 

" Limpang-Tung is lesser than the gods, 
and doth not understand." 

And Limpang - Tung said : " Lest men 
grow weary down on the great Worlds 
through gazing always at a changeless sky 
I will paint my pictures in the sky. And I 
will paint them twice in every day for so 
long as days shall be. Once as the day 
ariseth out of the homes of dawn will I paint 
upon the Blue, that men may see and rejoice ; 
and ere day falleth under into the night will 
I paint upon the Blue again, lest men be 
sad" 

23 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

"It is a little," said Limpang-Tung, "it 
is a little even for a god to give some 
pleasure to men upon the Worlds" And 
Limpang-Tung hath sworn that the pictures 
that he paints shall never be the same for so 
long as the days shall be, and this he hath 
sworn by the oath of the gods of Pegana that 
the gods may never break, laying his hand 
upon the shoulder of each of the gods and 
swearing by the light behind Their eyes. 

Limpang-Tung hath lured a melody out 
of the stream and stolen its anthem from 
the forest ; for him the wind hath cried in 
lonely places and ocean sung its dirges. 

There is music for Limpang-Tung in the 
sounds of the moving of grass and in the 
voices of the people that lament or in the 
cry of them that rejoice. 

In an inner mountain land where none 
hath come he hath carved his organ pipes 
out of the mountains, and there when the 
winds, his servants, come in from all the 
world he maketh the melody of Limpang- 
Tung. But the song, arising at night, goeth 
forth like a river, winding through all the 
world, and here and there amid the peoples 
of earth one heareth, and straightway all 
that hath voice to sing crieth aloud in music 
to his soul. 

24 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Or sometimes walking through the dusk 
with steps unheard by men, in a form unseen 
by the people, Limpang-Tung goeth abroad, 
and, standing behind the minstrels in cities 
of song, waveth his hands above them to and 
fro, and the minstrels bend to their work, 
and the voice of the music ariseth ; and mirth 
and melody abound in that city of song., and 
no one seeth Limpang-Tung as he standeth 
behind the minstrels. 

But through the mists towards morning, 
in the dark when the minstrels sleep and 
mirth and melody have sunk to rest, 
Limpang-Tung goeth back again to his 
mountain land. 



OF YOHARNETH-LAHAI 

(THE GOD OF LITTLE DREAMS AND 
FANCIES) 

YOHARNETH-LAHAI is the god of little 
dreams and fancies. 

All night he sendeth little dreams out of 
Pegana to please the people of Earth. 

He sendeth little dreams to the poor man 
and to The King. 

He is so busy to send his dreams to all 
before the night be ended that oft he for- 
getteth which be the poor man and which be 
The King. 

To whom Yoharneth-Lahai cometh not 
with little dreams and sleep he must endure 
all night the laughter of the gods, with 
highest mockery, in Pegana. 

All night long Yoharneth-Lahai giveth 
peace to cities until the dawn hour and the 
departing of Yoharneth-Lahai, when it is 
time for the gods to play with men again. 

Whether the dreams and the fancies of 
Yoharneth-Lahai be false and the Things 
26 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

that are done in the Day be real, or the 
Things that are done in the Day be false and 
the dreams and the fancies of Yoharneth- 
Laliai be true, none knoweth saving only 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAT, who hath not 
spoken. 



OF ROON, THE GOD OF GOING 

AND THE THOUSAND HOME GODS 

ROON said : " There be gods of moving and 
gods of standing still, but I am the god of 
Going." 

It is because of Roon that the worlds are 
never still, for the moons and the worlds and 
the comet are stirred by the spirit of Roon, 
which saith : " Go ! Go ! Go ! " 

Roon met the Worlds all in the morning 
of Things, before there was light upon 
Pegana, and Roon danced before them in 
the Void, since when they are never still. 
Roon sendeth all streams to the Sea, and all 
the rivers down to the soul of Slid. 

Roon maketh the sign of Roon before the 
waters, and lo ! they have left the hills ; and 
Roon hath spoken in the ear of the North 
Wind that he may be still no more. 

The footfall of Roon hath been heard at 
evening outside the houses of men, and 
thenceforth comfort and abiding know them 
28 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

no more. Before them stretcheth travel 
over all the lands, long miles, and never rest- 
ing between their homes and their graves 
and all at the bidding of Roon. 

The Mountains have set no limit against 
Roon nor all the seas a boundary. 

Whither Roon hath desired there must 
Roon's people go, and the worlds and their 
streams and the winds. 

I heard the whisper of Roon at evening, 
saying : " There are islands of spices to the 
South," and the voice of Roon saying : 
" Go." 

And Roon said : " There are a thousand 
home gods, the little gods that sit before 
the hearth and mind the fire there is one 
Roon." 

Roon saith in a whisper, in a whisper when 
none heareth, when the sun is low : " What 
doeth MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI?" Roon is 
no god that thou mayest worship by thy 
hearth, nor will he be benignant to thy 
home. 

Offer to Roon thy toiling and thy speed, 
whose incense is the smoke of the camp fire 
to the South, whose song is the sound of 
going, whose temples stand beyond the 
farthest hills in his lands behind the East. 

Yarinareth, Yarinareth, Yarinareth, which 
29 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

signifieth Beyond these words be carved in 
letters of gold upon the arch of the great 
portal of the Temple of Roon that men 
have builded looking towards the East upon 
the Sea, where Roon is carved as a giant 
trumpeteer, with his trumpet pointing towards 
the East beyond the Seas. 

Whoso heareth his voice, the voice of Roon 
at evening, he at once forsaketh the home 
gods that sit beside the hearth. These be 
the gods of the hearth : Pitsu, who stroketh 
the cat ; Hobith, who calms the dog ; and 
Habaniah, the lord of glowing embers ; and 
little Zumbiboo, the lord of dust ; and old 
Gribaun, who sits in the heart of the fire to 
turn the wood to ash all these be home 
gods, and live not in Pegana and be lesser 
than Roon. 

There is also Kilooloogung, the lord of 
arising smoke, who taketh the smoke from 
the hearth and sendeth it to the sky, who is 
pleased if it reacheth Pegana, so that the 
gods of Pegana, speaking to the gods, say: 
" There is Kilooloogung doing the work on 
earth of Kilooloogung." 

All these are gods so small that they be 

lesser than men, but pleasant gods to have 

beside the hearth; and often men have 

prayed to Kilooloogung, saying : " Thou 

30 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

whose smoke ascendeth to Pegana send up 
with it our prayers, that the gods may hear." 
And Kilooloogung, who is pleased that men 
should pray, stretches himself up all grey and 
lean, with his arms above his head, and 
sendeth his servant the smoke to seek 
Pegana, that the gods of Pegana may know 
that the people pray. 

And Jabim is the Lord of broken things, 
who sitteth behind the house to lament the 
things that are cast away. And there he 
sitteth lamenting the broken things until the 
worlds be ended, or until someone cometh to 
mend the broken things. Or sometimes he 
sitteth by the river's edge to lament the for- 
gotten things that drift upon it. 

A kindly god is Jabim, whose heart is sore 
if anything be lost. 

There is also Triboogie, the Lord of Dusk, 
whose children are the shadows, who sitteth 
in a corner far off from Habaniah and 
speaketh to none. But after Habaniah hath 
gone to sleep and old Gribaun hath blinked 
a hundred times, until he forgetteth which 
be wood or ash, then doth Triboogie send 
his children to run about the room and dance 
upon the walls, but never disturb the silence. 

But when there is light again upon the 
worlds, and dawn comes dancing down the 

31 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

highway from Pegana, then does Triboogie 
retire into his corner, with his children all 
around him, as though they had never danced 
about the room. And the slaves of Habaniah 
and old Gribaun come and awake them 
from their sleep upon the hearth, and Pitsu 
strokes the cat, and Hobith calms the dog, 
and Kilooloogung stretches aloft his arms 
towards Pegana, and Triboogie is very still, 
and his children asleep. 

And when it is dark, all in the hour of 
Triboogie, Hish creepeth from the forest, 
the Lord of Silence, whose children are the 
bats, that have broke the command of their 
father, but in a voice that is ever so low. 
Hish husheth the mouse and all the whispers 
in the night ; he maketh all noises still. 
Only the cricket rebelleth. But Hish hath 
set against him such a spell that after he 
hath cried a thousand times his voice may 
be heard no more but becometh part of the 
silence. 

And when he hath slain all sounds Hish 
boweth low to the ground ; then cometh into 
the house, with never a sound of feet, the 
god Yoharneth-Lahai. 

But away in the forest whence Hish hath 
come, Wohoon, the Lord of Noises in the 
32 




H I SH 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Night, awaketh in his lair and creepeth 
round the forest to see whether it be true 
that Hish hath gone. 

Then in some glade Wohoon lifts up his 
voice and cries aloud, that all the night may 
hear, that it is he, Wohoon, who is abroad in 
all the forest. And the wolf and the fox 
and the owl, and the great beasts and the 
small, lift up their voices to acclaim Wohoon. 
And there arise the sounds of voices and the 
stirring- of leaves. 



33 



THE REVOLT OF THE 
HOME GODS 

THERE be three broad rivers of the plain, 
born before memory or fable, whose mothers 
are three grey peaks and whose father 
was the storm. Their names be Eimes, 
Zanes, and Segastrion. 

And Eimes is the joy of lowing herds ; 
and Zanes hath bowed his neck to the yoke 
of man, and carries the timber from the 
forest far up below the mountain ; and 
Segastrion sings old songs to shepherd boys, 
singing of his childhood in a low ravine and 
of how he once sprang down the mountain 
sides and far away into the plain to see the 
world, and of how one day at last he will 
find the sea. These be the rivers of the 
plain, wherein the plain rejoices. But old 
men tell, whose fathers heard it from 
the ancients, how once the lords of the 
three rivers of the plain rebelled against 
the law of the Worlds, and passed beyond 

34 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

their boundaries, and joined together and 
whelmed cities and slew men, saying : " We 
now play the game of the gods and slay men 
for our pleasure, and we be greater than the 
gods of Pegana." 

And all the plain was flooded to the hills. 

And Eimes, Zanes, and Segastrion sat 
upon the mountains, and spread their hands 
over their rivers that rebelled by their 
command. 

But the prayer of men going upward 
found Pegana, and cried in the ear of the 
gods : " There be three home gods who slay 
us for Their pleasure, and say that they be 
mightier than Pegana' s gods, and play Their 
game with men." 

Then were all the gods of Pegana very 
wroth ; but They could not whelm the lords 
of the three rivers, because being home gods, 
though small, they were immortal. 

And still the home gods spread their 
hands across their rivers, with their fingers 
wide apart, and the waters rose and rose, 
and the voice of their torrent grew louder, 
crying: "Are we not Eimes, Zanes, and 
Segastrion ? " 

Then Mung went down into a waste of 
Afrik, and came upon the drought Umbool 
as he sat in the desert upon iron rocks, 

35 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

clawing with miserly grasp at the bones of 
men and breathing hot. 

And Mung stood before him as his dry 
sides heaved, and ever as they sank his hot 
breath blasted dead sticks and bones. 

Then Mung said : " Friend of Mung ! go 
thou and grin before the faces of Eimes, 
Zanes, and Segastrion till they see whether 
it be wise to rebel against the gods of 
Pegana," 

And Umbool answered : " I am the beast 
of Mung." 

And Umbool came and crouched upon a 
hill upon the other side of the waters and 
grinned across them at the rebellious home 
gods. 

And whenever Eimes, Zanes, and Segas- 
trion stretched out their hands over their 
rivers they saw before their faces the 
grinning of Umbool ; and because the 
grinning was like death in a hot and hideous 
land therefore they turned away and spread 
their hands no more over their rivers, and 
the waters sank and sank. 

But when Umbool had grinned for thirty 
days the waters fell back into the river beds 
and the lords of the rivers slunk away back 
again to their homes: still Umbool sat 
and grinned. 

36 




MUNG AND THE BEAST OF MUNG 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Then Eimes sought to hide himself in a 
great pool beneath a rock, and Zanes crept 
into the middle of a wood, and Segastrion 
lay and panted on the sand still Umbool 
sat and grinned. 

And Eimes grew lean, and was forgotten, 
so that the men of the plain would say: 
" Here once was Eimes" ; and Zanes scarce 
had strength to lead his river to the sea ; 
and as Segastrion lay and panted, a man 
stepped over his stream, and Segastrion said : 
" It is the foot of a man that has passed 
across my neck, and I have sought to be 
greater than the gods of Pegana." 

Then said the gods of Pegana : " It is 
enough. We are the gods of Pegana, and 
none are equal." 

Then Mung sent Umbool back to his 
waste in Afrik to breathe again upon the 
rocks, and parch the desert, and to sear the 
memory of Afrik into the brains of all who 
ever bring their bones away. 

And Eimes, Zanes, and Segastrion sang 
again, and walked once more in their ac- 
customed haunts, and played the game of 
Life and Death with fishes and frogs, but 
never essayed to play it any more with men, 
as- do the gods of Pegana. 



37 



OF DOROZHAND 

(WHOSE EYES REGARD THE END) 

SITTING above the lives of the people, and 
looking, doth Dorozhand see that which is 
to be. 

The god of Destiny is Dorozhand. Upon 
whom have looked the eyes of Dorozhand 
he goeth forward to an end that naught may 
stay; he becometh the arrow from the bow 
of Dorozhand hurled forward at a mark he 
may not see to the goal of Dorozhand. 
Beyond the thinking of men, beyond the 
sight of all the other gods regard the eyes 
of Dorozhand. 

He hath chosen his slaves. And them 
doth the destiny-god drive onward where 
he will, who, knowing not whither nor even 
knowing why, feel only his scourge behind 
them or hear his cry before. 

There is something that Dorozhand would 

fain achieve, and, therefore, hath he set the 

people striving, with none to cease or rest 

in all the worlds. But the gods in Pegana 

38 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

speaking to the gods, say : " What is it that 
Dorozhand would fain achieve?" 

It hath been written and said that not only 
the destinies of men are the care of Doroz- 
hand but that even the gods of Pegana be 
not unconcerned by his will. 

All the gods of Pegana have felt a fear, 
for they have seen a look in the eyes of 
Dorozhand that regardeth beyond the gods. 

The reason and purpose of the Worlds is 
that there should be Life upon the Worlds, 
and Life is the instrument of Dorozhand 
wherewith he would achieve his end. 

Therefore the Worlds go on, and the rivers 
run to the sea, and Life ariseth and flieth 
even in all the Worlds, and the gods of 
Pegana do the work of the gods and all 
for Dorozhand. But when the end of Doroz- 
hand hath been achieved there will be need 
no longer of Life upon the Worlds, nor any 
more a game for the small gods to play. 
Then will Kib tiptoe gently across Pegana 
to the resting-place in Highest Pegana of 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, and touching re- 
verently his hand, the hand that wrought 
the gods, say: " MANA-YOOD-SUSHAl, 
thou hast rested long." 

And MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI shall say.- 
" Not so ; for I have rested but fifty ceons 

39 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

of the gods, each of them scarce more than 
ten million mortal years of the Worlds that 
ye have made'' 

And then shall Jthe gods be afraid when 
they find that MANA knoweth that they 
have made Worlds while he rested. And 
they shall answer: "Nay; but the Worlds 
came all of themselves." 

Then MANA-YOOD-SUSHAl, as one 
who would have done with an irksome matter, 
will lightly wave his hand the hand that 
wrought the gods and there shall be gods 
no more. 

When there shall be three moons towards 
the north above the Star of the Abiding, 
three moons that neither wax nor wane but 
regard towards the North. 

Or when the comet ceaseth from his seek- 
ing and stands still, not any longer moving 
among the Worlds but tarrying as one who 
rests after the end of search, then shall arise 
from resting, because it is THE END, the 
Greater One, who rested of old time, even 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAL 

Then shall the Times that were be Times 
no more ; and it may be that the old, dead 
days shall return from beyond the Rim, and 
we who have wept for them shall see those 

40 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

days again, as one who, returning from long 
travel to his home, comes suddenly on dear, 
remembered things. 

For none shall know of MAN A who hath 
rested for so long, whether he be a harsh or 
a merciful god. It may be that he shall have 
mercy, and that these things shall be. 



THE EYE IN THE WASTE 

THERE lie seven deserts beyond Bodrahahn, 
which is the city of the caravans' end. None 
goeth beyond. In the first desert lie the 
tracks of mighty travellers outward from 
Bodrahahn, and some returning. And in the 
second lie only outward tracks, and none 
return. 

The third is a desert untrodden by the 
feet of men. 

The fourth is the desert of sand, and the 
fifth is the desert of dust, and the sixth is 
the desert of stones, and the seventh is the 
Desert of Deserts. 

In the midst of the last of the deserts that 
lie beyond Bodrahahn, in the centre of the 
Desert of Deserts, standeth the image that 
hath been hewn of old out of the living hill 
whose name is Ranorada the eye in the 
waste. 

About the base of Ranorada is carved in 
mystic letters that are vaster than the beds 
of streams these words : 

To the god who knows. 
42 




RANORADA 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Now, beyond the second desert are no 
tracks, and there is no water in all the seven 
deserts that lie beyond Bodrahahn. There- 
fore came no man thither to hew that statue 
from the living hills, and Ranorada was 
wrought by the hands of gods. Men tell 
in Bodrahahn, where the caravans end and all 
the drivers of the camels rest, how once the 
gods hewed Ranorada from the living hill, 
hammering all night long beyond the deserts. 
Moreover, they say that Ranorada is carved 
in the likeness of the god Hoodrazai, who 
hath found the secret of MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI, and knoweth the wherefore of the 
making of the gods. 

They say that Hoodrazai stands all alone 
in Pegana and speaks to none because he 
knows what is hidden from the gods. 

Therefore the gods have made his image 
in a lonely land as one who thinks and is 
silent the eye in the waste. 

They say that Hoodrazai had heard the 
murmurs of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI as he 
muttered to himself, and gleaned the 
meaning, and knew ; and that he was the 
god of mirth and of abundant joy, but 
became from the moment of his knowing 
a mirthless god, even as his image, which 
regards the deserts beyond the track of man. 

43 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

But the camel drivers, as they sit and 
listen to the tales of the old men in the 
market-place of Bodrahahn, at evening, while 
the camels rest, say: "If Hoodrazai is so 
very wise and yet is sad, let us drink wine, 
and banish wisdom to the wastes that lie 
beyond Bodrahahn." Therefore is there feast- 
ing and laughter all night long in the city 
where the caravans end. 

All this the camel drivers tell when the 
caravans come in from Bodrahahn ; but who 
shall credit tales that camel drivers have 
heard from aged men in so remote a city? 



OF THE THING THAT IS 
NEITHER GOD NOR BEAST 

SEEING that wisdom is not in cities nor 
happiness in wisdom, and because Yadin the 
prophet was doomed by the gods, ere he was 
born, to go in search of wisdom, he followed 
the caravans to Bodrahahn. There in the 
evening, when the camels rest, when the 
wind of the day ebbs out into the desert 
sighing amid the palms its last farewells 
and leaving the caravans still, he sent his 
prayer with the wind to drift into the desert 
calling to Hoodrazai. 

And down the wind his prayer went call- 
ing: "Why do the gods endure, and play 
their game with men? Why doth not Skarl 
forsake his drumming, and MANA cease 
to rest?" and the echo of seven deserts 
answered: "Who knows? Who knows?" 

But out of the waste beyond the seven 
deserts where Ranorada looms enormous in 
the dusk, at evening his prayer was heard ; 
and from the rim of the waste whither had 
gone his prayer, came three flamingoes flying, 

45 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

and their voices said: "Going South, Going 
South" at every stroke of their wings. 

But as they passed by the prophet they 
seemed so cool and free and the desert so 
blinding and hot that he stretched up his 
arms towards them. Then it seemed happy 
to fly and pleasant to follow behind great 
white wings, and he was with the three 
flamingoes up in the cool above the desert, 
and their voices cried before him : " Going 
South, Going South," and the desert below 
him mumbled : " Who knows ? Who knows ? " 

Sometimes the earth stretched up towards 
them with peaks of mountains, sometimes it 
fell away in steep ravines, blue rivers sang 
to them as they passed above them, or very 
faintly came the song of breezes in lone 
orchards, and far away the sea sang mighty 
dirges of old forsaken isles. But it seemed 
that in all the world there was nothing only 
to be going South. 

It seemed that somewhere the South was 
calling to her own, and that they were going 
South. 

But when the prophet saw that they had 
passed above the edge of Earth, and that far 
away to the North of them lay the Moon, he 
perceived that he was following no mortal 
birds but some strange messengers of Hood- 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

razai whose nest had lain in one of Pegana's 
vales below the mountains whereon sit the 
gods. 

Still they went South, passing by all the 
Worlds and leaving them to the North, till 
only Araxes, Zadres, and Hyraglion lay 
still to the South of them, where great In- 
gazi seemed only a point of light, and Yo 
and Mindo could be seen no more. 

Still they went South till they passed 
below the South and came to the Rim of the 
Worlds. 

There there is neither South nor East nor 
West, but only North and Beyond : there is 
only North of it where lie the Worlds, and 
Beyond it where lies the Silence ; and the Rim 
is a mass of rocks that were never used by 
the gods when They made the Worlds, and 
on it sat Trogool. Trogool is the Thing that 
is neither god nor beast, who neither howls 
nor breathes, only IT turns over the leaves 
of a great book, black and white, black and 
white for ever until THE END. 

And all that is to be is written in the book, 
as also all that was. 

When IT turneth a black page it is night, 
and when IT turneth a white page it is day. 

Because it is written that there are gods 
there are the gods. 

47 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Also there is writing about thee and me 
until the page where our names no more are 
written. 

Then as the prophet watched IT, Trogool 
turned a page a black one, and night was 
over, and day shone on the Worlds. 

Trogool is the Thing that men in many 
countries have called by many names, IT is 
the Thing that sits behind the gods, whose 
book is the Scheme of Things. 

But when Yadin saw that old remembered 
days were hidden away with the part that IT 
had turned, and knew that upon one whose 
name is writ no more the last page had 
turned for ever a thousand pages back, 
then did he utter his prayer in the face 
of Trogool who only turns the pages and 
never answers prayer. He prayed in the face 
of Trogool : " Only turn back thy pages 
to the name of one which is writ no more, 
and far away upon a place named Earth 
shall rise the prayers of a little people that 
acclaim the name of Trogool, for there is in- 
deed far off a place called Earth where men 
shall pray to Trogool." 

Then spake Trogool who turns the pages 
and never answers prayer, and his voice was 
like the murmurs of the waste at night when 
echoes have been lost : " Though the whirl- 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

wind of the South should tug with his claws 
at a page that hath been turned yet shall he 
not be able ever to turn it back." 

Then because of words in the book that 
said that it should be so, Yadin found him- 
self lying in the desert where one gave him 
water, and afterwards carried him on a camel 
into Bodrahahn. 

There some said that he had but dreamed 
when thirst had seized him while he wan- 
dered among the rocks in the desert. 
But certain aged men of Bodrahahn say 
that indeed there sitteth somewhere a 
Thing that is called Trogool, that is neither 
god nor beast, that turneth the leaves of a 
book, black and white, black and white, until 
he come to the words : MAI BOON IZAHN, 
which means The End For Ever, and book 
and gods and worlds shall be no more. 



49 



YONATH THE PROPHET 

YONATH was the first among prophets who 
uttered unto men. 

These are the words of Yonath, the first 
among all prophets : 

There be gods upon Pegana. 

Upon a night I slept. And in my sleep 
Pegana came very near. And Pegana was 
full of gods. 

I saw the gods beside me as one might 
see wonted things. 

Only I saw not MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI. 

And in that hour, in the hour of my sleep 
I knew. 

And the end and the beginning of my 
knowing, and all of my knowing that there 
was, was this that Man Knoweth Not. 

Seek thou to find at night the utter edge 
of the darkness, or seek to find the birthplace 
of the rainbow where he leapeth upward from 
the hills, only seek not concerning the where- 
fore of the making of the gods. 

The gods have set a brightness upon the 
farther side of the Things to Come that they 
50 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

may appear more felicitous to men than the 
Things that Are. 

To the gods the Things to Come are but 
as the Things that Are, and nothing altereth 
in Pegana. 

The gods, although not merciful, are not 
ferocious gods. They are the destroyers of 
the Days that Were, but they set a glory 
about the Days to Be. 

Man must endure the Days that Are, but 
the gods have left him his ignorance as a solace. 

Seek not to know. Thy seeking will 
weary thee, and thou wilt return much worn, 
to rest at last about the place from whence 
thou settest out upon thy seeking. 

Seek not to know. Even I, Yonath, the 
olden prophet, burdened with the wisdom 
of great years, and worn with seeking, know 
only that man knoweth not. 

Once I set out seeking to know all things. 
Now I know one thing only, and soon the 
Years will carry me away. 

The path of my seeking, that leadeth to 
seeking again, must be trodden by very 
many more, when Yonath is no longer even 
Yonath. 

Set not thy foot upon that path. 

Seek not to know. 

These be the Words of Yonath. 
Si 



YUG THE PROPHET 

WHEN the Years had carried away Yonath, 
and Yonath was dead, there was no longer 
a prophet among men. 

And still men sought to know. 

Therefore they said unto Yug : " Be thou 
our prophet, and know all things, and tell 
us concerning the wherefore of It All." 

And Yug said : " I know all things " And 
men were pleased 

And Yug said of the Beginning that it 
was in Yug's own garden, and of the End 
that it was in the sight of Yug. 

And men forgot Yonath. 

One day Yug saw Mung behind the hills 
making the sign of Mung. And Yug was 
Yug no more. 



ALHIRETH-HOTEP THE 
PROPHET 

WHEN Yug was Yug no more men said unto 
Alhireth-Hotep : " Be thou our prophet, and 
be as wise as Yug." 

And Alhireth-Hotep said: "I am as wise 
as Yug." And men were very glad. 

And Alhireth-Hotep said of Life and 
Death : " These be the affairs of Alhireth- 
Hotep." And men brought gifts to him. 

One day Alhireth-Hotep wrote in a book : 
" Alhireth-Hotep knoweth All Things, for he 
hath spoken with Mung." 

And Mung stepped from behind him, 
making the sign of Mung, saying: "Knowest 
thou All Things, then, Alhireth-Hotep?" 
And Alhireth-Hotep became among the 
Things that Were. 



53 



KABOK THE PROPHET 

WHEN Alhireth-Hotep was among the 
Things that Were, and still men sought to 
know, they said unto Kabok : " Be thou as 
wise as was Alhireth-Hotep." 

And Kabok grew wise in his own sight 
and in the sight of men. 

And Kabok said : " Mung maketh his 
sign against men or withholdeth it by the 
advice of Kabok." 

And he said unto one : " Thou hast sinned 
against Kabok, therefore will Mung make 
the sign of Mung against thee." And to 
another : " Thou has brought Kabok gifts, 
therefore shall Mung forbear to make 
against thee the sign of Mung." 

One night as Kabok fattened upon the 
gifts that men had brought him he heard 
the tread of Mung treading in the garden of 
Kabok about his house at night. 

And because the night was very still it 
seemed most evil to Kabok that Mung should 
be treading in his garden, without the advice 
of Kabok, about his house at night. 

54 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

And Kabok, who knew All Things, grew 
afraid, for the treading was very loud and 
the night still, and he knew not what lay 
behind the back of Mung, which none had 
ever seen. 

But when the morning grew to brightness, 
and there was light upon the Worlds, and 
Mung trod no longer in the garden, Kabok 
forgot his fears, and said : " Perhaps it was 
but a herd of cattle that stampeded in the 
garden of Kabok." 

And Kabok went about his business, which 
was that of knowing All Things, and telling 
All Things unto men, and making light of 
Mung. 

But that night Mung trod again in the 
garden of Kabok, about his house at night, 
and stood before the window of the house 
like a shadow standing erect, so that Kabok 
knew indeed that it was Mung. 

And a great fear fell upon the throat of 
Kabok, so that his speech was hoarse ; and 
he cried out : " Thou art Mung ! " 

And Mung slightly inclined his head, and 
went on to tread in the garden of Kabok, 
about his house at night. 

And Kabok lay and listened with horror 
at his heart. 

But when the second morning grew to 

55 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

brightness, and there was light upon the 
Worlds, Mung went from treading in the 
garden of Kabok ; and for a little while 
Kabok hoped, but looked with great dread 
for the coming of the third night. 

And when the third night was come, and 
the bat had gone to his home, and the wind 
had sunk, the night was very still. 

And Kabok lay and listened, to whom the 
wings of the night flew very slow. 

But, ere night met the morning upon the 
highway between Pegana and the Worlds, 
there came the tread of Mung in the garden 
of Kabok towards Kabok's door. 

And Kabok fled out of his house as flees 
a hunted beast and flung himself before 
Mung. 

And Mung made the sign of Mung, 
pointing towards The End. 

And the fears of Kabok had rest from 
troubling Kabok any more, for they and he 
were among accomplished things. 



OF THE CALAMITY THAT BE- 
FEL YUN-ILARA BY THE 
SEA, AND OF THE BUILD- 
ING OF THE TOWER OF 
THE ENDING OF DAYS 

WHEN Kabok and his fears had rest the 
people sought a pr/ophet who should have 
no fear of Mung, whose hand was against the 
prophets. 

And at last they found Yun-Ilara, who 
tended sheep and had no fear of Mung, 
and the people brought him to the town that 
he might be their prophet. 

And Yun-Ilara builded a tower towards 
the sea that looked upon the setting of the 
Sun. And he called it the Tower of the 
Ending of Days. 

And about the ending of the day would 
Yun-Ilara go up to his tower's top and look 
towards the setting of the Sun to cry his 
curses against Mung, saying : " O Mung ! 
whose hand is against the Sun, whom men 
abhor but worship because they fear thee, 

57 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

here stands and speaks a man who fears 
thee not. Assassin-lord of murder and 
dark things, abhorrent, merciless, make thou 
the sign of Mung against me when thou 
wilt, but until silence settles upon my lips, 
because of the sign of Mung, I will curse 
Mung to his face." And the people in the 
street below would gaze up with wonder to- 
wards Yun-Ilara, who had no fear of Mung, 
and brought him gifts ; only in their homes 
after the falling of the night would they pray 
again with reverence to Mung. But Mung 
said : " Shall a man curse a god ? " And 
Mung went forth amid the cities to glean the 
lives of the People. 

And still Mung came not nigh to Yun-Ilara 
as he cried his curses against Mung from 
his tower towards the sea. 

And Sish throughout the Worlds hurled 
Time away, and slew the Hours that had 
served him well, and called up more out of 
the timeless waste that lieth beyond the 
Worlds, and drave them forth to assail all 
things. And Sish cast a whiteness over 
the hairs of Yun-Ilara, and ivy about his 
tower, and weariness over his limbs, for 
Mung passed by him still. 

And when Sish became a god less durable 
to Yun-Ilara than ever Mung hath been he 

58 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

ceased at last to cry from his tower's 
top his curses against Mung whenever the 
sun went down, till there came the day when 
weariness of the gift of Kib fell heavily 
upon Yun-Ilara. 

Then from the Tower of the Ending of 
Days did Yun-Ilara cry out thus to Mung, 
crying: "O Mung! O loveliest of the gods! 
O Mung, most dearly to be desired! thy 
gift of Death is the heritage of Man, with 
ease and rest and silence and returning to 
the Earth. Kib giveth but toil and trouble ; 
and Sish, he sendeth regrets with each of 
his hours wherewith he assails the World. 
Yoharneth-Lahai cometh nigh no more. I 
can no longer be glad with Limpang-Tung. 
When the other gods forsake him a man 
hath only Mung." 

But Mung said : " Shall a man curse a 
god?" 

And every day and all night long did 
Yun-Ilara cry aloud : " Ah, now for the 
hour of the mourning of many, and the 
pleasant garlands of flowers and the tears, 
and the moist, dark earth. Ah, for repose 
down underneath the grass, where the firm 
feet of the trees grip hold upon the world, 
where never shall come the wind that now 
blows through my bones, and the rain shall 
59 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

come warm and trickling, not driven by 
storm, where is the easeful falling asunder 
of bone from bone in the dark." Thus 
prayed Yun-Ilara, who had cursed in his folly 
and youth, while never heeded Mung. 

Still from a heap of bones that are Yun- 
Ilara still, lying about the ruined base of 
the tower that once he builded, goes up a 
shrill voice with the wind crying out for the 
mercy of Mung, if any such there be. 



60 



OF HOW THE GODS WHELMED 
SIDITH 

THERE was dole in the valley of Sidith. 

For three years there had been pestilence, 
and in the last of the three a famine ; more- 
over, there was imminence of war. 

Throughout all Sidith men died night and 
day, and night and day within the Temple 
of All thejgods save One (for none may 
pray to MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI) did the 
priests of the gods pray hard. 

For they said : " For a long while a man 
may hear the droning of little insects and 
yet not be aware that he hath heard them, 
so may the gods not hear our prayers at 
first until they have been very oft repeated. 
But when our praying has troubled the 
silence long it may be that some god as 
he strolls in Pegana's glades may come on 
one of our lost prayers, that flutters like a 
butterfly tossed in storm when all its wings 
are broken ; then if the gods be merciful 
they may ease our fears in Sidith, or else 
they may crush us, being petulant gods, and 
6l 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

so we shall see trouble in Sidith no longer, 
with its pestilence and dearth and fears of 
war." 

But in the fourth year of the pestilence 
and in the second year of the famine, and 
while still there was imminence of war, came 
all the people of Sidith to the door of the 
Temple of All the gods save One, where 
none may enter but the priests but only 
leave gifts and go. 

And there the people cried out : " O High 
Prophet of All the gods save One, Priest 
of Kib, Priest of Sish, and Priest of Mung, 
Teller of the mysteries of Dorozhand, Re- 
ceiver of the gifts of the People, and Lord 
of Prayer, what doest thou within the Temple 
of All the gods save One ? " 

And Arb-Rin-Hadith, who was the High 
Prophet, answered : "I pray for all the People." 

But the people answered: "O High 
Prophet of All the gods save One, Priest 
of Kib, Priest of Sish, and Priest of Mung, 
Teller of the mysteries of Dorozhand, Re- 
ceiver of the gifts of the People, and Lord 
of Prayer, for four long years hast thou 
prayed with the priests of all thine order, 
while we brought ye gifts and died. Now, 
therefore since They have not heard thee in 
four grim years, thou must go and carry 
62 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

to Their faces the prayer of the people of 
Sidith when They go to drive the thunder 
to his pasture upon the mountain Aghrinaun, 
or else there shall no longer be gifts upon 
thy temple door, whenever falls the dew, 
that thou and thine order may fatten. 

" There thou shalt say before Their faces : 
' O All the gods save One, Lords of the 
Worlds, whose child is the eclipse, take back 
thy pestilence from Sidith, for Ye have played 
the game of the gods too long with the 
people of Sidith, who would fain have done 
with the gods.' " 

Then in great fear answered the High 
Prophet, saying: "What if the gods be 
angry and whelm Sidith ? " And the people 
answered : " Then are we sooner done with 
pestilence and famine and the imminence of 
war/' 

That night the thunder howled upon 
Aghrinaun, which stood a peak above all 
others in the land of Sidith. And the people 
took Arb-Rin-Hadith from his Temple and 
drave him to Aghrinaun, for they said : 
" There walk to-night upon the mountain All 
the gods save One." 

And Arb-Rin-Hadith went trembling to 
the gods. 

Next morning, white and frightened from 

63 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Aghrinaun, came Arb-Rin-Hadkh back into 
the valley, and there spake to the people, 
saying: "The faces of the gods are iron and 
their mouths set hard. There is no hope 
from the gods." 

Then said the people j_ " Thou shalt go to 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, to whom no man 
may pray : seek him upon Aghrinaun where 
it lifts clear into the stillness before morning, 
and on its summit, where all things seem to 
rest, surely there rests also MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI. Go to him, and say : ' Thou 
hast made evil gods, and They smite Sidith.' 
Perchance he hath forgotten all his gods, 
or hath not heard of Sidith. Thou hast 
escaped the thunder of the gods, surely 
thou shalt also escape the stillness of 
MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI." 

Upon a morning when the sky and lakes 
were clear and the world still, and Aghrinaun 
was stiller than the world, Arb-Rin-Hadith 
crept in fear towards the slopes of Aghrinaun 
because the people were urgent. 

All that day men saw him climbing. At 
night he rested near the top. But ere the 
morning of the day that followed, such as 
rose early saw him in the silence, a speck 
against the blue, stretch up his arms upon 
the summit to MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI. 
64 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Then instantly they saw him not, nor was 
he ever seen of men again who had dared 
to trouble the stillness of MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAL 

Such as now speak of Sidith tell of a 
fierce and potent tribe that smote away a 
people in a valley enfeebled by pestilence, 
where stood a temple to " All the gods save 
One " in which was no high priest. 



OF HOW IMBAUN BECAME 
HIGH PROPHET IN ARA- 
DEC OF ALL THE GODS 
SAVE ONE 

IMBAUN was to be made High Prophet in 
Aradec, of All the Gods save One. 

From Ardra, Rhoodra, and the lands be- 
yond came all High Prophets of the Earth 
to the Temple in Aradec of All the gods 
save One. 

And there they told Imbaun how The 
Secret of Things was upon the summit of 
the dome of the Hall of Night, but faintly 
writ, and in an unknown tongue. 

Midway in the night, between the setting 
and the rising sun, they led Imbaun into 
the Hall of Night, and said to him, chaunt- 
ing altogether: "Imbaun, Imbaun, Imbaun, 
look up to the roof, where is writ The 
Secret of Things, but faintly, and in an 
unknown tongue." 

And Imbaun looked up, but darkness was 
so deep within the Hall of Night that 
66 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Imbaun saw not even the High Prophets 
who came from Ardra, Rhoodra, and the 
lands beyond, nor saw he aught in the 
Hall of Night at all. 

Then called the High Prophets: "What 
seest thou, Imbaun ? " 

And Imbaun said : " I see naught." 
Then called the High Prophets: "What 
knowest thou, Imbaun ? " 

And Imbaun said : " I know naught." 
Then spake the High Prophet of Eld 
of All the gods save One, who is first on 
Earth of prophets : " O Imbaun ! we have 
all looked upwards in the Hall of Night 
towards the Secret of Things, and ever it 
was dark, and the Secret faint and in an 
unknown tongue. And now thou knowest 
what all High Priests know." 

And Imbaun answered : " I know." 
So Imbaun became High Prophet in 
Aradec of All the gods save One, and 
prayed for all the poeple, who knew not 
that there was darkness in the Hall of 
Night or that the secret was writ faint and 
in an unknown tongue. 

These are the words of Imbaun that he 
wrote in a book that all the people might 
know: 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

"In the twentieth night of the nine 
hundredth moon, as night came up the 
valley, I performed the mystic rites of each 
of the gods in the temple as is my wont, 
lest any of the gods should grow angry in 
the night and whelm us while we slept. 

" And as I uttered the last of certain secret 
words I fell asleep in the temple, for I was 
weary, with my head against the altar of 
Dorozhand. Then in the stillness, as I slept, 
there entered Dorozhand by the temple door 
in the guise of a man, and touched me on 
the shoulder, and I awoke. 

" But when I saw that his eyes shone blue 
and lit the whole of the temple I knew that 
he was a god though he came in mortal 
guise. And Dorozhand said : ' Prophet of 
Dorozhand, behold! that the people may 
know.' And he showed me the paths of 
Sish stretching far down into the future 
time. 

" Then he bade me arise and follow 
whither he pointed, speaking no words but 
commanding with his eyes. 

"Therefore upon the twentieth night of 
the nine hundredth moon I walked with 
Dorozhand adown the paths of Sish into 
the future time. 

" And ever beside the way did men slay 
68 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

men. And the sum of their slaying was 
greater than the slaying of the pestilence 
or any of the evils of the gods. 

"And cities arose and shed their houses 
in dust, and ever the desert returned again to 
its own, and covered over and hid the last 
of all that had troubled its repose. 

" And still men slew men. 

"And I came at last to a time when men 
set their yoke no longer upon beasts but 
made them beasts of iron. 

" And after that did men slay men with 
mists. 

" Then, because the slaying exceeded their 
desire, there came peace upon the world that 
was brought by the hand of the slayer, and 
men 'slew men no more. 

"And cities multiplied, and overthrew the 
desert and conquered its repose. 

" And suddenly I beheld that THE END 
was near, for there was a stirring above 
Pegana as of One who grows weary of rest- 
ing, and I saw the hound Time crouch to 
spring, with his eyes upon the throats of the 
gods, shifting from throat to throat, and the 
drumming of Skarl grew faint. 

" And if a god may fear, it seemed that 
there was fear upon the face of Dorozhand, 
and he seized me by the hand and led me 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

back along the paths of Time that I might 
not see THE END. 

" Then I saw cities rise out of the dust 
again and fall back into the desert whence 
they had arisen ; and again I slept in the 
Temple of All the gods save One, with my 
head against the altar of Dorozhand. 

" Then again the Temple was alight, but 
not with light from the eyes of Dorozhand ; 
only dawn came all blue out of the East and 
shone through the arches of the Temple. 
Then I awoke and performed the morning 
rites and mysteries of All the gods save One, 
lest any of the gods be angry in the day and 
take away the Sun. 

" And I knew that because I who had been 
so near to it had not beheld THE END 
that a man should never behold it or know 
the doom of the gods. This They have 
hidden." 



;o 



OF HOW IMBAUN MET 
ZODRAK 

THE prophet of the gods lay resting by the 
river to watch the stream run by. 

And as he lay he pondered on the Scheme 
of Things and the works of all the gods. 
And it seemed to the prophet of the gods 
as he watched the stream run by that the 
Scheme was a right scheme and the gods 
benignant gods ; yet there was sorrow in the 
Worlds. It seemed that Kib was bountiful, 
that Mung calmed all who suffer, that Sish 
dealt not too harshly with the hours, and 
that all the gods were good ; yet there was 
sorrow in the Worlds. 

Then said the prophet of the gods as he 
watched the stream run by : " There is some 
other god of whom naught is writ." And 
suddenly the prophet was aware of an old 
man who bemoaned beside the river, crying : 
"Alas! alas!" 

His face was marked by the sign and seal 
of exceeding many years, and there was yet 
vigour in his frame. These be the words of 

71 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

the prophet that he wrote in his book: "I 
said: 'Who art thou that bemoans beside 
the river ? ' And he answered : ' I am the 
fool/ I said : ' Upon thy brow are the marks 
of wisdom such as is stored in books.' 
He said : ' I am Zodrak. Thousands of 
years ago I tended sheep upon a hill that 
sloped towards the sea. The gods have 
many moods. Thousands of years ago They 
were in mirthful mood. They said : " Let 
Us call up a man before Us that We may 
laugh in Pegana." 

" ' They took me from my sheep upon 
the hill that slopes towards the sea. They 
carried me above the thunder. They stood 
me, that was only a shepherd, before Them 
on Pegana, and the gods laughed. They 
laughed not as men laugh, but with solemn 
eyes. 

" ' And Their eyes that looked on me saw 
not me alone but also saw the Beginning 
and THE END and all the Worlds besides. 
Then said the gods, speaking as speak the 
gods : " Go ! Back to thy sheep." 

"'But I, who am the fool, had heard it 
said on earth that whoso seeth the gods 
upon Pegana becometh as the gods, if so 
he demand to Their faces, who may not slay 
him who hath looked Them in the eyes. 
72 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

" ' And I, the fool, said : " I have looked in 
the eyes of the gods, and I demand what 
a man may demand of the gods when he 
hath seen Them in Pegana." And the gods 
inclined Their heads and Hoodrazai said : 
"It is the law of the gods." 

" ' And I, who was only a shepherd, how 
could I know ? 

" ' I said : " I will make men rich." And 
the gods said : " What is rich ? " 

"'And I said: "I will send them love." 
And the gods said : " What is love ? " And 
I sent gold into the Worlds, and, alas ! I sent 
with it poverty and strife. And I sent love 
into the Worlds, and with it grief. 

' ' And now I have mixed gold and love 
most wo fully together, and I can never 
remedy what I have done, for the deeds of 
the gods are done, and nothing may undo 
them. 

" ' Then I said : " I will give men wisdom 
that they may be glad." And those who 
got my wisdom found that they knew 
nothing, and from having been happy be- 
came glad no more. 

"'And I, who would make men happy, 
have made them sad, and I have spoiled the 
beautiful scheme of the gods. 

"'And now my hand is for ever on the 

73 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

handle of Their plough. I was only a 
shepherd, and how should I have known? 

" ' Now I come to thee as thou restest by 
the river to ask of thee thy forgiveness, for 
I would fain have the forgiveness of a man/ 

" And I answered : ' O Lord of seven skies, 
whose children are the storms, shall a man 
forgive a god ? ' 

" He answered : ' Men have sinned not 
against the gods as the gods have sinned 
againsit men since I came into Their 
councils.' 

" And I, the prophet, answered : ' O Lord of 
seven skies, whose plaything is the thunder, 
thou art amongst the gods, what need hast 
thou for words from any man ? ' 

" He said : ' Indeed I am amongst the gods, 
who speak to me as they speak to other 
gods, yet there is always a smile about Their 
mouths, and a look in Their eyes that saith : 
" Thou wert a man." * 

" I said : ' O Lord of seven skies, about 
whose feet the Worlds are as drifted sand, 
because thou biddest me, I, a man, forgive 
thee.' 

" And he answered : ' I was but a shepherd, 
and I could not know.' Then he was gone." 



74 



PEGANA 

THE prophet of the gods cried out to the 
gods : " O ! All the_gods save One" (for none 
may pray to MANA - YOOD - SUSHAI), 
" where shall the life of a man abide when 
Mung hath made against his body the sign 
of Mung? for the people with whom ye 
play have sought to know." 

But the gods answered, speaking through 
the mist : 

" Though thou shouldst tell thy secrets to 
the beasts, even that the beasts should 
understand, yet will not the gods divulge 
the secret of the gods to thee, that gods 
and beasts and men shall be all the same, 
all knowing the same things." 

That night Yoharneth-Lahai came to 
Aradec, and said unto Imbaun: "Wherefore 
wouldst thou know the secret of the gods 
that not the gods may tell thee ? 

" When the wind blows not, where, then, is 
the wind ? 

" Or when thou art not living, where art 
thou? 

75 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

" What should the wind care for the hours 
of calm or thou for death ? 

" Thy life is long, Eternity is short. 

" So short that, should thou die and 
Eternity should pass, and after the passing 
of Eternity thou shouldst live again, thou 
wouldst say : ' I closed mine eyes but for an 
instant. 1 

" There is an Eternity behind thee as well 
as one before. Hast thou bewailed the aeons 
that passed without thee, who are so much 
afraid of the aeons that shall pass ? " 

Then said the prophet : " How shall I 
tell the people that the gods have not 
spoken and their prophet doth not know? 
For then should I be prophet no longer, 
and another would take the people's gifts 
instead of me." 

Then said Imbaun to the people : " The 
gods have spoken, saying : ' O Imbaun, Our 
prophet, it is as the people believe, whose 
wisdom hath discovered the secret of the 
gods, and the people when they die shall 
come to Pegana, and there live with the gods, 
and there have pleasure without toil. And 
Pegana is a place all white with the peaks 
of mountains, on each of them a god, and 
the people shall lie upon the slopes of the 
mountains each under the god that he hath 
;6 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

worshipped most when his lot was in the 
Worlds. And there shall music beyond thy 
dreaming come drifting through the scent of 
all the orchards in the Worlds, with ome- 
where someone singing 'an old song that 
shall be as a half -remembered thing. And 
there shall be gardens that have always sun- 
light, and streams that are lost in no sea, 
beneath skies for ever blue. And there shall 
be no rain nor no regrets. Only the roses 
that in highest Pegana have achieved their 
prime shall shed their petals in showers at 
thy feet, and only far away on the forgotten 
earth shall voices drift up to thee that cheered 
thee in thy childhood about the gardens of 
thy youth. And if thou sighest for any 
memory of earth because thou hearest un- 
forgotten voices, then will the gods send 
messengers on wings to soothe thee in 
Pegana, saying to them : " There one sigheth 
who hath remembered Earth." And they 
shall make Pegana more seductive for thee 
still, and they shall take thee by the hand 
and whisper in thine ear till the old voices 
are forgot. 

" ' And besides the flowers of Pegana there 
shall have climbed by then until it hath 
reached to Pegana the rose that clambered 
about the house where thou wast born. 

77 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Thither shall also come the wandering 
echoes of all such music as charmed thee 
long ago. 

" Moreover, as thou sittest on the orchard 
lawns that clothe Pegana's mountains, and 
as thou hearkenest to melody that sways the 
souls of the gods, there shall stretch away far 
down beneath thee the great unhappy Earth, 
till gazing from rapture upon sorrows thou 
shalt be glad that thou wert dead. 

" ' And from the three great mountains that 
stand aloof and over all the others Grimbol, 
Zeebol, and Trehagobol shall blow the wind 
of the morning and the wind of the evening 
and the wind of all the day, borne upon the 
wings of all the butterflies that have died 
upon the Worlds, to cool the gods and 
Pegana. 

1 ' Far through Pegana a silvery fountain, 
lured upward by the gods from the Central 
Sea, shall fling its waters aloft, and over the 
highest of Pegana's peaks, above Treha- 
gobol, shall burst into gleaming mists, to 
cover Highest Pegana, and make a curtain 
about the resting-place of MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAL 

" ' Alone, still and remote below the base 
of one of the inner mountains, lieth a great 
blue pool. 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

" ' Whoever looketh down into its waters 
may behold all his life that was upon the 
Worlds and all the deeds that he hath done. 
" ' None walk by the pool and none regard 
its depths, for all in Pegana have suffered and 
all have sinned some sin, and it lieth in the 
pool. 

" ' And there is no darkness in Pegana, for 
when night hath conquered the sun and 
stilled the Worlds and turned the white 
peaks of Pegana into grey then shine the 
blue eyes of the gods like sunlight on the 
sea, where each god sits upon his mountain. 

"'And at the Last, upon some afternoon, 
perhaps in summer, shall the gods say, 
speaking tp_ the gods : " What is the like- 
ness of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI and what 
THE END?" 

"VAnd then shall MANA-YOOD-SU- 
SHAI draw back with his hand the mists 
that cover his resting, saying : " This is the 
Face of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI and this 
THE END." ' " 

Then said the people to the prophet: 
" Shall not black hills draw round in some 
forsaken land, to make a vale-wide cauldron 
wherein the molten rock shall seethe and 
roar, and where the crags of mountains shall 
be hurled upward to the surface and bubble 
79 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

and go down again, that there our enemies 
may boil for ever ? " 

And the prophet answered : " It is writ 
large about the bases of Pegana's mountains, 
upon which sit the gods : ' Thine Enemies 
Are Forgiven.' " 



80 



THE SAYINGS OF IMBAUN 

THE Prophet of the gods said: "Yonder 
beside the road there sitteth a false prophet ; 
and to all who seek to know the hidden 
days he saith : ' Upon the morrow the King 
shall speak to thee as his chariot goeth by.'" 

Moreover, all the people bring him gifts, 
and the false prophet hath more to listen 
to his words than hath the Prophet of the 
gods. 

Then said Imbaun : " What knoweth the 
Prophet of the gods? I know only that 
I and men know naught concerning the gods 
or aught concerning men. Shall I, who am 
-their prophet, tell the people this ? 

" For wherefore have the people chosen 
prophets but that they should speak the 
hopes of the people, and tell the people 
that their hopes be true ? " 

The false prophet saith : " Upon the 
morrow the king shall speak to thee." 

Shall not I say: "Upon The Morrow the 
gods shall speak with thee as thou restest 
upon Pegana?" 

for 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

So shall the people be happy, and know 
that their hopes be true who have believed 
the words that they have chosen a prophet 
to say. 

But what shall know the Prophet of the 
gods, to whom none may come to say: 
" Thy hopes are true," for whom none may 
make strange signs before his eyes to quench 
his fear of death, for whom alone the chaunt 
of his priests availeth naught? 

The Prophet of the gods hath sold his 
happiness for wisdom, and hath given his 
hopes for the people. 

Said also Imbaun : " When thou art angry 
at night observe how calm be the stars ; and 
shall small ones rail when there is such a 
calm among the great ones ? Or when thou 
art angry by day regard the distant hills, 
and see the calm that doth adorn their 
faces. Shalt thou be angry while they 
stand so serene? 

" Be not angry with men, for they are 
driven as thou art by Dorozhand. Do 
bullocks goad one another on whom the 
same yoke rests ? 

" And be not angry with Dorozhand, for 
then thou beatest thy bare fingers against 
iron cliffs. 

"All that is is so because it was to be. 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Rail not, therefore, against what is, for it 
was all to be." 

And Imbaun said : " The Sun ariseth and 
maketh a glory about all the things that 
he seeth, and drop by drop he turneth the 
common dew to every kind of gem. And 
he maketh a splendour in the hills. 

"And also man is born. And there rests 
a glory about the gardens of his youth. 
Both travel afar to do what Dorozhand 
would have them do. 

" Soon now the sun will set, and very 
softly come twinkling in the stillness all 
the stars. 

"Also man dieth. And quietly about his 
grave will all the mourners weep. 

"Will not his life arise again somewhere 
in all the worlds? Shall he not again be- 
hold the gardens of his youth? Or does 
he set to end ? " 



OF HOW IMBAUN SPAKE OF 
DEATH TO THE KING 

THERE trod such pestilence in Aradec that 
the King as he looked abroad out of his 
palace saw men die. And when the King 
saw death he feared that one day even the 
King should die. Therefore he commanded 
guards to bring before him the wisest 
prophet that should be found in Aradec. 

Then heralds came to the temple of All 
the gods save One, and cried aloud* having 
first commanded silence, crying : " Rhazahan, 
King over Aradec, Prince by right of Ildun 
and Ildaun, and Prince by conquest of Pathia, 
Ezek, and Azhan, Lord of the Hills, to the 
High Prophet of All the gods save One sends 
salutations." 

Then they bore him before the King. 

The King said unto the prophet : " O 
Prophet of All the Gods save One, shall I 
indeed die ? " 

And the prophet answered : " O King ! thy 
people may not rejoice for ever, and some 
day the King will die." 

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THE GODS OF PEGANA 

And the King answered : " This may be 
so, but certainly thou shalt die. It may be 
that one day I shall die, but till then the 
lives of the people are in my hands." 

Then guards led the prophet away. 

And there arose prophets in Aradec who 
spake not of death to Kings. 



OF OOD 

MEN say that if thou comest to Sundari, 
beyond all 'the plains, and shalt climb to 
his summit before thou art seized by the 
avalanche which sitteth always on his slopes, 
that then there lie before thee many peaks. 
And if thou shalt climb these and cross 
their valleys (of which there be seven and 
also seven peaks) thou shalt come at last 
to the land of forgotten hills, where amid 
many valleys and white snow there standeth 
the " Great Temple of One god Only." 

Therein is a dreaming prophet who doeth 
naught, and a drowsy priesthood about him. 

These_be the priests of MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI. Within the temple it is for- 
bidden to work, also it is forbidden to pray. 
Night differeth not from day within its 
doors. They rest as MANA rests. And 
the name of their prophet is Ood. 

Ood is a greater prophet than any of all 

the prophets of Earth, and it hath been said 

by some that were Ood and his priests to 

pray, chaunting all together and calling 

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THE GODS OF PEGANA 

upon MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, that MANA- 
YOOD-SUSHAI would then awake, for 
surely he would hear the prayers of his own 
prophet then would there be Worlds no 
more. 

There is also another way to the land of 
forgotten hills, which is a smooth road and 
a straight, that lies through the heart of the 
mountains. But for certain hidden reasons 
it were better for thee to go by the peaks 
and snow, even though thou shouldst perish 
by the way, than that thou shouldst seek to 
come to the home of Ood by the smooth, 
straight road. 



THE RIVER 

THERE arises a river in Pegana that is neither 
a river of water nor yet a river of fire, and 
it flows through the skies and the Worlds 
to the Rim of the Worlds, a river of silence. 
Through all the Worlds are sounds, the noises 
of moving, and the echoes of voices and song ; 
but upon the River is no sound ever heard, 
for there all echoes die. 

The River arises out of the drumming of 
Skarl, and flows for ever between banks of 
thunder, until it comes to the waste beyond 
the Worlds, behind the farthest star, down 
to the Sea of Silence. 

I lay in the desert beyond all cities and 
sounds, and above me flowed the River of 
Silence through the sky ; and on the desert's 
edge night fought against the Sun, and 
suddenly conquered. 

Then on the River I saw the dream-built 
ship of the God Yoharneth-Lahai, whose 
great prow lifted grey into the air above the 
River of Silence. 

Her timbers were olden dreams dreamed 
88 




THE SHIP OF YOHARNETH - LAHA 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

long ago, and poets' fancies made her tall, 
straight masts, and her rigging was wrought 
out of the people's hopes. 

Upon her deck were rowers with dream- 
made oars, and the rowers were the people 
of men's fancies, and princes of old story 
and people who had died, and people who 
had never been. 

These swung forward and swung back 
to row Yoharneth-Lahai through the worlds 
with never a sound of rowing. For ever on 
every wind float up to Pegana the hopes and 
the fancies of the people which have no home 
in the Worlds, and there Yoharneth-Lahai 
weaves them into dreams, to take them to 
the people again. 

And every night in his dream-built ship 
Yoharneth-Lahai setteth forth, with all his 
dreams on board, to take again their eld 
hopes back to the people and all forgotten 
fancies. 

But ere the day comes back to her own 
again, and all the conquering armies of the 
dawn hurl their red lances in the face of 
night, Yoharneth-Lahai leaves the sleeping 
Worlds, and rows back up the River of 
Silence, that flows from Pegana into the 
Sea of Silence that lies beyond the Worlds. 

And the name of the River is Imrana 



THE GODS OF PEGANA 

the River of Silence. All they that be 
weary of the sound of cities and very tired 
of clamour creep down in the night-time to 
Yoharneth-Lahai's ship, and going aboard it, 
among the dreams and the fancies of old time, 
lie down upon the deck, and pass from sleep- 
ing to the River, while Mung, behind them, 
makes the sign of Mung because they would 
have it so. And, lying there upon the deck 
among their own remembered fancies, and 
songs that were never sung, they drift up 
Imrana ere the dawn, where the sound of 
the cities comes not, nor the voice of the 
thunder is heard, nor the midnight howl 
of Pain as he gnaws at the bodies of men, 
and far away and forgotten bleat the small 
sorrows that trouble all the Worlds. 

But where the River flows through Pegana's 
gates, between the great twin constellations 
Yum and Gothum, where Yum stands 
sentinel upon the left and Gothum upon 
the right, there sits Sirami, the lord of All 
Forgetting. And, when the ship draws 
near, Sirami looketh with his sapphire eyes 
into the faces and beyond them of those 
that were weary of cities, and as he gazes, 
as one that looketh before him remembering 
naught, he gently waves his hands. And 
amid the waving of Sirami's hands there 
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THE GODS OF PEGANA 

fall from all that behold him all their 
memories, save certain things that may not 
be forgot even beyond the Worlds. 

It hath been said that when Skarl ceases to 
drum, and MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI awakes, 
and the gods of Pegana know that it is 
THE END, that then the gods will enter 
galleons of gold, and with dream-born rowers 
glide down Imrana (who knows whither 
or why?) till they come where the River 
enters the Silent Sea, and shall there be 
gods of nothing, where nothing is, and never 
a sound shall come. And far away upon 
the River's banks shall bay their old hound 
Time, that shall seek to rend his masters ; 
while MANA-YOOD-SUSHAT shall think 
some other plan concerning gods and worlds. 



THE BIRD OF DOOM AND 
THE END 

FOR at the last shall the thunder, fleeing 
to escape from the doom of the gods, roar 
horribly among the Worlds ; and Time, the 
hound of the gods, shall bay hungrily at 
his masters because he is lean with age. 

And from the innermost of Pegana's vales 
shall the bird of doom, Mosahn, whose voice 
is like the trumpet, soar upward with 
boisterous beatings of his wings above 
Pegana's mountains and the gods, and there 
with his trumpet voice acclaim THE END. 

Then in the tumult and amid the fury 
of Their hound the gods shall make for the 
last time in Pegana the sign of all the gods, 
and go with dignity and quiet down to 
Their galleons of gold, and sail away down 
the River of Silence, not ever to return. 

Then shall the River overflow its banks, 
and a tide come setting in from the Silent 
Sea, till all the Worlds and the Skies are 
drownedjn Silence; while MANA-YOOD- 
SUSHAI in the Middle of All sits deep in 

-02 



THE GODS OF PEGANA. 

thought. And the hound Time, when all 
the Worlds and cities are swept away 
whereon he used to raven, having no more 
to devour shall suddenly die. 

But there are some that hold and this is 
the heresy of the Saigoths that when the 
gods go down at the last into their galleons 
of gold Mung shall turn alone, and, setting 
his back against Trehagobol and wielding the 
Sword of Severing which is called Death, shall 
fight out his last fight with the hound Time, 
his empty scabbard Sleep clattering loose 
beside him. 

There under Trehagobol they shall fight 
alone when all the gods are gone. 

And the Saigoths say that for two days 
and nights the hound shall leer and snarl 
before the face of Mung days and nights 
that shall be lit by neither sun nor moons, 
for these shall go dipping down the sky 
with all the worlds as the galleons glide 
away, because the gods that made them 
are gods no more. 

And then shall the hound, springing, tear 
out the throat of Mung, who, making for 
the last time the sign of Mung, shall bring 
down Death crashing through the shoulders 
of the hound, and in the blood of Time 
that Sword shall rust away. 

93 






THE GODS OF PEGANA 

Then shall MANA-YOOD-SUSHAl be 
all alone, with neither Death nor Time, and 
never the hours singing in his ears, nor the 
swish of the passing lives. 

But far away from Pegana shall go the 
galleons of gold that bear the gods away, 
upon whose faces shall be utter calm, because 
They are the gods knowing that it is THE 
END. 






94 

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